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Careless driver who caused death of Wallasey cyclist walks free from court
3:58pm Wednesday 26th January 2011 in News
A woman motorist who struck a young cyclist causing fatal injuries today walked free from court.
28-year-old Matthew Chapman died from multiple injuries after Wendy Tsang's Vauxhall Vectra struck the rear of his bike as he cycled along North Wallasey Approach Road on a sunny afternoon.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that he was thrown into the air hitting her windscreen and roof before landing on the roadway.
He suffered fractures to his skull, neck and ribs and passed away later the same day.
Imposing a 24-week jail sentence suspended for two years, Judge John Roberts said because of her speed she had misjudged her own speed and the gap between Mr Chapman and the nearside kerb.
"There was insufficient room for you to pass, you drove too close to him and failed to allow for the possibility he would wobble and you collided with the rear of that cycle as you tried to enter the slip road."
He said that he accepted she is genuinely remorseful, appreciates the consequences to Mr Chapman and his family and has no previous driving convictions.
Judge Roberts also ordered her to carry out 200 hours' unpaid work, banned her from driving for three years and imposed a four-month curfew with a tag between 8pm and 7am.
Outside court angry relatives voiced anger that fraudulent MPs get 18 month sentences but she had walked free after causing Mr Chapman's death.
Tsang, 44, of Heyes Drive, Wallasey, had pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.
Geoffrey Greenwood, prosecuting, had told the court that the tragedy happened about 4 pm on April 11 last year as Mr Chapman, a painter and decorator, of Norwich Drive, Upton, was cycling along the North Wallasey Approach Road.
Tsang was driving her car, containing her three children and her grand-daughter, in the same direction and overtook vehicles in the nearside lean in excess of the 40mph speed limit.
She moved back into the nearside lane intending to take the slip road to Leasowe Road.
Mr Greenwood said she pleaded guilty on the basis that she believed the cyclist was far enough across the junction for her to pass him on the inside but she misjudged it and he appeared to move to the left.
Lee Bonner, defending, said that Tsang admitted she had not left enough room for the cyclist to wobble or move to the left.
"She did not leave enough room for such a manoeuvre and he paid the ultimate price and she must pay a price today."
He said she was within the speed limit at the time of impact and it had been a "momentary misjudgement."